Second Thoughts

Second Thoughts
By Henry C. Mayer

Excitement's A-Brewing at Kentucky Opera!

By Henry C. Mayer

There's always extra excitement when a super star performs! It's even more exhilarating when at the same time there's also a young artist with great promise. Then to top it off, there's a carefully chosen cast in a favorite work!

Well, you can do all that right here!

I'm talking about Kentucky Opera's coming production of Bizet's masterwork -- the audience-pleasing Carmen. This lively but tragic work will feature a triumphant return of Adria Firestone who wowed them in our last production of this opera. Ms. Firestone and the role of coquettish Gypsy seem made for each other. She will be co-starred with another local favorite, Peter Riberi. They both drew raves in last year's highly pleasing production of Cavalleria Rusticana.

There's still more excitement in this year's Carmen. We will also have the unique and enviable opportunity to share in the Kentucky Opera debut of Gregory J. Turay II. A recent graduate of the University of Kentucky, he became this year's youngest winner of the Metropolitan Opera's National Council Auditions in New York. This achievement brought him a number of other offers, including the Met's Young Artists Program. He will be cast as one of the smugglers, a role he performed with acclaim for the Palm Beach Opera. He has already performed a significant number of demanding roles including Frederic in The Pirates of Penzance and Tamino in The Magic Flute.

Thomson Smillie has put together another impressive cast. It includes the return of Dan Narducci as the dashing Matador, Escamillo and Christine Akre as Jose's hometown sweetheart, Micaela. Bob Bernhardt will wield his talented baton and John Hoomes will employ his many-splendored skills as stage director. The total cast will include 53 members of the Louisville Orchestra, 52 members of the Kentucky Opera Chorus and 20 young people from the Lexington Children's Choir.

This will be Kentucky Opera's 5th production of Carmen. First curtain will be Friday, Nov. 17, at 8 p.m., followed by a Sunday matinee at 2 p.m. on the 19th, and another nocturnal presentation on the 21st, this time starting at 7 p.m.

All performances at Kentucky Center for the Arts. For reservations, call 502-584-7777.

DON'T MISS IT! It will be unforgettable!